In the olden days, we used to look down at our feet when we walked. It was imperative to our safety to avoid stepping in large potholes or sidewalk cracks or on small dogs.
We’d notice “stuff” close to our feet but had little peripheral awareness of anything else.
As an avid traveler, beginning in my early twenties, I found myself looking at Rand McNally maps. [Under 30? Google them – they’re cool.] I’d notice the needed next turn, but I’d miss a lot of the scenery around me because I was so fixated on not getting lost.
One day, when I was twenty-six and walking the streets of Shanghai, I realized I was so immersed in the map that I was completely missing the moment.
I made it a habit right then to look up. To look above me and way ahead of me and behind me. To stop, absorb and savor all the sensory sensations around me that the map could lead me to but not deliver.
I still make it a habit of stopping and looking up when I walk. Just last week I looked up and saw this gorgeous masterpiece created by Mother Nature (feature image above).
Isn’t she a beauty?
And without my quirky habit, I would have missed her and so many other magnificent and unexpected delights along my path.
In this modern age, we’re still looking down, only now it’s into the black hole of our phone screens. Unless you stop and look up, you’ll miss it. You really will.
To looking up and noticing your life and everything magnificent in it,
AmyK, this is a great tip. It seems really simple, but it’s so close to our nose we don’t even see it, no pun intended. Great photo, btw. Thank you for sharing it with us. The other habit I am amazed at is looking at the world through a screen, i.e., always snapping a photo or recording a video. I remember seeing a photo of a crowd on the street at a marathon, and EVERYONE was recording it, experiencing it, THROUGH their phone except for one elderly woman. The contrast was striking. I wonder about its consequences for us. THANK YOU for this profoundly important reminder of the power and beauty of Mother Nature and the importance of being truly present.
This is a great habit to adopt. Strong Ink! I truly enjoyed this post.
Amy I love this observation and life habit. We should all strive to be present as we hustle through the day. Mobile phones and technology are moving us forward at such a fast rate we are no longer seeing the world infrobt of us. At home, mealtimes, social times and sleep times are consumed with phones and activities of others. We need to stop and take time to ‘ smell the roses and the rain’ …quirky habits are needed so we dont lose today?.